Page 1


tuesday february 26, 2007 blacksburg, va.

news RAUL CASTRO ELECTED AS CUBA’S NEW PRESIDENT Signaling that change will not come to Cuba as quickly as some would wish, newly elected leader Raul Castro Sunday said he would consult with his brother Fidel on major issues and appointed a notorious hardliner as his No. 2. “Fidel is irreplaceable,” Raul Castro said in his inaugural speech, calling his brother the only true “commander in chief.” In a surprise move, 77-year-old hardliner Jose Ramon Machado Ventura replaced Raul Castro as first vice president, which experts say signals an entrenchment of old-school ideals that could keep economic reforms at bay. Other leadership spots in the country’s Council of State went to aging members of Cuba’s hard line establishment, including an 80-year-old former revolutionary leader and two army generals close to Raul Castro. — McClatchy Newspapers

MISSLE STRIKE SHATTERED FUEL TANK WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has concluded that a missile destroyed a crippled spy satellite’s fuel tank last Thursday and that the rocket fuel has dissipated. Pentagon officials said Monday that they based their conclusion on various measures, including video shot from the missile warhead as it approached the satellite. Officials did not, however, release that video. Military officials decided to try to down the satellite, which failed within hours of its December 2006 launch and was returning to Earth, because it was carrying 1,000 pounds of hydrazine. Officials feared the satellite and its toxins could land in a populated area. — McClatchy Newspapers

weather SHOWERS

Student killed in accident near ‘The Cage’ ASHLEY OLIVER

ct associate sports editor


Christine McNabb (above), a sophomore general engineering major, was killed Saturday night when she was struck by a car on Duck Pond Drive. McNabb was from Manassas, Va. Ashley Zekert (right), a graduate student in food science waits at the intersection of Washington Street and Duck Pond Drive, which was the scene of the accident which injured three others. JEFF SLOYER/SPPS

Alumnus’ project wins gadget award CANDACE SIPOS

ct news reporter

“Norris survivor suggests student defense classes,” (CT, Feb. 22) contained a mistake. April 16 was a Monday, not a Tuesday like the story implied. “Comeback kids strike again,” (CT, Feb. 21) was incorrect. A.D. Vassallo is a junior. The Collegiate Times regrets these errors.

TOMORROW’S CT See how the Hokies fare against Boston College in tonight’s ACC home matchup in Wednesday’s CT. You can now visit our Web site on your PDA, just visit

index News.....................2 Features................4 0pinions................5

Sports....................6 Classifieds............8 Sudoku................8

An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903 105th year • issue 25

see GADGET, page two

Students show support for NIU A group of 25 students made it’s way to the Northern Illinois University campus over the weekend to deliver gifts and condolences to the campus community. The group, consisting of students representing fraternity and sorority life at Virginia Tech, was headed to the Mid-American Greek Council Association conference in Chicago. In the wake of recent events that have taken place at the NIU campus, the students decided

that it was important to show support from the Tech community. “Once we heard about the shootings, we felt that it was important to go up there and offer support in anyway possible,” said Ryan Heider, president of the Inter-Fraternity Council and senior mechanical engineering major. “Since many of us went through the shooting together last year, we wanted to emulate some of the things others did for us that helped us out. One of the most important things we wanted to do was just let them know that we’re there for them, anything they need,” Heider said. Daniel Parmenter, a member of Pi Kappa

Life after college: A look at the Virginia Tech Alumni Association LAURA ASPEN

coming up

see SUPPORT, page two

Students sign posters on boards that were in the lobby of Burruss Auditorium during Delta Gamma’s philanthropy, Anchorsplash, on Feb. 15. Members of the Greek community visted NIU last week to drop off gifts of support.

ct staff writer


Alpha, and four female students at Northern Illinois University were killed on the NIU campus when a gunman opened fire on a lecture hall in a shooting, wounding 16 others. Two of the wounded, members of Sigma Kappa sorority, were hospitalized. Representatives from the Tech InterFraternity Council and Panhellenic Council met with members of the NIU councils Thursday for an informal meeting during which they shared their experiences not only about the shootings, but also about fraternity

In a competition held over the weekend, a former Virginia Tech master’s student won second place for a new gadget he designed for the event. Clay Moulton, who received his master’s degree in science and architecture with a concentration in industrial design last December, won the award in the Greener Gadgets Design Competition as part of the Greener Gadgets Conference in New York City. His invention, a light-emitting diode (LED) floor lamp called Gravia, works for four hours at a time once the user moves weights to the top of the lamp that then spin a rotor. Gravia faced two rounds of pre-judging before the final decision on Feb. 1 at the McGraw-Hill Conference Center, where all entries were judged on innovation, clarity of design, originality, form and presentation. Moulton’s lamp competed against designs such as a remote control that charged on a TV, a device that would only spray air conditioning on a person in a room and an easy-to-build creation that measures how much power electric appliances draw. This last device, made by Matt Meschulam and Zach Dwiel, was the only one that beat out Gravia. The lamp’s name, which simply means via gravity, is a misnomer. “The lamp isn’t actually powered by gravity, but from a physics perspective, when the user picks up that weight and lifts it up and puts it up in the lamp to start it moving, they’re imparting the potential energy for that whole thing,” Moulton said. The original concept for Moulton’s design was based on a typical American workday, which is



high 55, low 25

One Virginia Tech student died and another was sent to the hospital Saturday night after a pedestrian-vehicle accident near “The Cage” shortly after 6:15 p.m., according to a press release from the Virginia Tech Police Department. Sophomore general engineering major Christine McNabb, 20, was pronounced dead at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital following the incident. McNabb was from Manassas, Va. The accident occurred when a 1993 Mercury Sedan struck four students who were walking together on a crosswalk near the intersection of Duck Pond Drive and Washington Street. The vehicle was traveling on Duck Pond Drive with “The Cage” on the left and Washington Street on the right when the students were hit. In a statement issued by Larry Hincker, university relations, Hincker said that officials investigating the crash are seeking a second car that pulled out of the parking lot and into the intersection directly before the accident. Police are looking for the driver of the vehicle, descibed as a dark color, four door sedan, which may have been a factor in the accident. Police would not say what role the car may have played in the accident. Sophomore aerospace engineering major Daniel Budzenski, from California, Md., was also taken to the Roanoke hospital. Budzenski suffered a broken femur, fractured skull and internal bleeding. The other two who were struck were treated for minor injuries at the scene. As of yesterday, Budzenski was still in the intensive care unit in serious condition. Sophomore political science major Stacie Empie, who considered McNabb one of her closest friends, said she heard the news from McNabb’s mother alongside about 20 others in

the waiting room of the hospital. Another close friend of McNabb’s, sophomore political science major Caroline Kelly, also waited at the hospital for updates on McNabb’s condition. “We reacted horribly because she’s one of our best friends,” Kelly said. “We were there as soon as we could be; we were at the hospital waiting, and reacted just like anyone would when they lose one of their closest friends.” Another close friend of McNabb, freshman biological sciences major Stephanie Baumgartner said that Christine “always put others in front of herself.” “One thing I will always remember is her big smile,” Baumgartner said. “She was just one of the most fun-loving, high-spirited people I’ve ever known in my life,” Kelly said. “She was so smart and so beautiful, and really just the epitome of an amazing person.” McNabb’s friends said she had been dating Budzenski for about two and a half months when the accident occurred. The driver, Joshua Sales, 20, a resident of Blacksburg, is currently being charged with having an expired registration and no insurance, according to Virginia Tech Police. Additional charges may be filed, pending consultation with the Commonwealth’s Attorney. Alcohol was not a factor in the incident. Sales refused to comment. Dean of Students Tom Brown is excusing close friends of McNabb’s from class Thursday and Friday to go home for the wake and funeral. The wake will take place at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28 at the Miller Funeral Home in Woodbridge. The funeral is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 29 at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Manassas. Anyone with any information about the accident is urged to called Tech Police at 540-2316411. Tech Police and Wendell Flinchum, chief of Virginia Tech Police, did not return phone calls.

ct staff writer The Virginia Tech Alumni Association aims to keep the Hokie spirit alive by giving alumni a chance to network, build friendships and attend sporting events together well after they’ve graduated. The Alumni Association is composed of approximately 125 chapters in different cities where there are an abundance of Tech grads. While most of the chapters are located in Virginia, there are several scattered around the nation and even a few international locations. Each chapter strives to bring alumni together to promote Virginia Tech through various programs, such as reunions, group trips, sporting ticket exchanges, homecomings and scholarships for prospective students. Most chapters meet monthly to organize events that raise awareness about Tech or raise money for scholarship funds. “There are basically two groups within the Alumni Association. There are chapters, which

have an active board, give out scholarships, and have a bigger membership. Then there are clubs, which is basically a place where alumni gather to tailgate and watch games,” said Greg Sansler, assistant director of the Alumni Association. To join a chapter or club, an alumnus can check the list of chapters on the Alumni Association Web site, and contact the chapter representative in the nearest location to join in the chapter’s activities. Along with strengthening the alumni community, the association also aims to provide valuable services and opportunities. Through the Alumni Association Web site, Tech grads can sign up for special deals on credit cards, auto and home insurance, life insurance, Tech memorabilia, and travel programs. “When you’re first starting with a job, they might not let you in on their benefits program right away,” Sansler said. “That’s why we made this affinity program available for recent Tech graduates, to make sure they’re taken care of.” Richard Underwood, a senior civil engineering major, said he is planning on joining a chapter

after he graduates. “I would love to join a chapter once I know the whos, whats, and wheres about the chapter I’ll be settled near after I graduate,” Underwood said. “I think a majority of graduating seniors would enjoy being a part of it and hopefully make it more widely known.” The Student Alumni Association (SAA) also provides a way for current students to work closely with alumni, providing good networking opportunities. According to the organization’s Web site, the SAA is made up of about 100 students representing different colleges within the university, fraternities and sororities, the Corps of Cadets, class offices, and various other student organizations. These students, elected each spring, organize and volunteer at special events on campus, such as pep rallies, career fairs, campus tours, and class activities. They help a broad range of people become excited about being part of the Hokie experience, facilitating the connection between current students, alumni, and people of the Blacksburg community.

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION FOUNDED: August 11, 1875 by 12 members of the first graduating class at Virginia Tech (then known as the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College) NUMBER OF ALUMNI: 198,380 living graduates of Virginia Tech (not necessarily in Alumni Association) NUMBER OF CITIES WITH CHAPTERS: 125 CITIES WITH MOST ALUMNI: National Capital Region (DC, Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church, Montgomery and Prince George areas of Maryland): 28,000; New River Valley, Va.: 10,000; Baltimore, Md.: 4,000; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.: 4,000; Atlanta, Ga.: 3,800; Charlotte, N.C.: 3,000 FARTHEST LOCATIONS: Selangor, Malaysia; Beirut, Lebanon; Kowloon, Hong Kong

have a news tip? want to see something in the CT? e-mail

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 Print Edition  
Tuesday, February 26, 2008 Print Edition  

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 Print Edition of The Collegiate Times